Thursday, May 13, 2010

Music for the Pope's U.K. Visit

It is widely known that the new English translation of the Roman Missal has now received its recognitio, and it is hoped that music "worthy of the temple" will be composed for it.

News has now gone public that the acclaimed Scottish composer, James MacMillan, who is a lay Dominican, has been commissioned by the bishops of Scotland, England and Wales to write music for the Pope's visit to the U.K. this September. He has been specifically asked to use the authorised new translation, and so, it is believed that this will be the first musical setting of it to be officially written and sung.

The Mass will be sung in Glasgow at the Mass celebrated by the Holy Father, and MacMillan will also be writing a motet for the beatification of Cardinal Newman in Coventry. Work on the music for the Mass Ordinary should be complete by the end of the month.

There is more information on this at the Scottish Catholic Observer. James MacMillan's music is deeply religious, inspired by his Scottish musical heritage, and also rooted in Dominican chant. His recent 'St John Passion', which has been widely acclaimed, is a good example of this, and there is an audio clip from it online. There are many more samples of his music, including liturgical music, here.

Above is a photo of James MacMillan receiving the first blessing of a Dominican priest and fellow composer.

UPDATE: This post was updated and changed accordingly on 14 May as sources now indicate that the Coventry Mass will not be using the MacMillan setting.

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